What is the difference between fair use and CC?

Fair use a provision of copyright law that allows the use of a copyrighted work without permission from the copyright holder under specific circumstances. News reporting, teaching, and parody are all examples of activities that could qualify as fair use. Fair use is evaluated on a case-by-case basis, and considers the purpose of the use, how much of the original work is used, and how it impacts the market for the original work.

The CC licenses are copyright licenses that provides a simple, standardized way to give the public permission to share and use your creative work – on conditions of your choice. Creative Commons licenses offer creators a spectrum of choices between retaining all rights and relinquishing all rights (public domain), an approach we call “Some Rights Reserved.” Instead of an agreement between the author and another specific party like in traditional licenses, CC licenses are written as an agreement between the author and the general public, making usability and shareability the default – rather than restricting use.

By design, CC licenses do not reduce, limit, or restrict any rights under exceptions and limitations to copyright, such as fair use or fair dealing. If your use of CC-licensed material would otherwise be allowed because of an applicable exception or limitation, you do not need to rely on the CC license or comply with its terms and conditions. This is a fundamental principle of CC licensing.


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One thought on “What is the difference between fair use and CC?”

  • I am wondering how a site like Album Art Exchange falls under this. Since I understand it that album art does not fall under the Fair Trade Act” but rather Creative Commons are they breaking they law and subject to legal action under such a law?

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